François Christophe de Kellermann

Last updated


François Christophe de Kellermann
Marechal-Kellermann.jpg
Born(1735-05-28)28 May 1735
Strasbourg, France
Died23 September 1820(1820-09-23) (aged 85)
Paris, France
AllegianceRoyal Standard of the King of France.svg  Kingdom of France
Flag of France (1790-1794).svg  Kingdom of the French
Flag of France (1794-1815).svg  French First Republic
Flag of France (1794-1815).svg  First French Empire
Service/branchFlag of France.svg  French Army
Rank Marshal of France

François Christophe Kellermann or de Kellermann, 1st Duc de Valmy (28 May 1735 – 23 September 1820) was a French military commander, later the Général d'Armée, a Marshal of France and a freemason. [1] Marshal Kellermann served in varying roles throughout the entirety of two epochal conflicts, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. Kellermann is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.

Valmy Commune in Grand Est, France

Valmy is a commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France.

French Revolutionary Wars series of conflicts fought between the French Republic and several European monarchies from 1792 to 1802

The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.

Napoleonic Wars Series of early 19th century European wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).

Contents

Early life

François Christophe de Kellermann came from a Saxon family, which was long settled in Strasbourg and ennobled. [2] He was the only son of a family living in the French province of Alsace. His father was François de Kellermann and his mother, Baroness Marie von Dyhrn. [3]

Saxony State in Germany

Saxony, officially the Free State of Saxony, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, bordering the federal states of Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, and Bavaria, as well as the countries of Poland and the Czech Republic. Its capital is Dresden, and its largest city is Leipzig.

Strasbourg Prefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department.

House of Dyhrn family

Dyhrn is a German noble family originally from Saxony.

Military career prior to the Revolution

The fifteen-year-old François Kellermann entered the French Army as a cadet volunteer [2] with a hussar regiment: the Régiment de Loweridath. He was commissioned as an ensign in the Royal-Bavière infantry regiment and promoted to captain in 1758 in the course of the Seven Years' War. [2] On one occasion he distinguished himself by capturing 300 prisoners, while leading a small cavalry detachment. In 1771 Kellermann saw active service in Poland, [2] becoming a chevalier of the Order of Saint-Louis. A further promotion to capitaine-commandant followed in 1776 before he became major in the Hussars of Conflans (Hussards de Conflans) three years later. Kellermann became brigadier-general in 1784, and in the following year marechal-de-camp. [2] While a number of Napoleon's marshals served in the Royal army prior to the Revolution, Kellermann was the only one to have reached such senior rank under the former regime. [4]

Hussar light cavalry specialized in scouting and raiding

A hussar was a member of a class of light cavalry, originating in Central Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The title and distinctive dress of these horsemen were subsequently widely adopted by light cavalry regiments in European armies in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global war fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: one was led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and included the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and other small German states; while the other was led by the Kingdom of France and included the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, Sweden, and the Electorate of Saxony. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal.

Maréchal de camp was a general officer rank used by the French Army until 1848.

Revolutionary career

In 1789 Kellermann enthusiastically embraced the cause of the French Revolution, and in 1791 became general of the army in Alsace. In April 1792 he was made a lieutenant-general, and in August of the same year there came to him the opportunity of his lifetime. He rose to the occasion, and his victory over the Prussians at the Battle of Valmy, in Goethe's words, "opened a new era in the history of the world". [2] Napoleon later commented that: "I think I'm the boldest general that ever lived, but I daren't take post on that ridge with windmill at Valmy (where Kellermann took position) in 1793".[ citation needed ]

General of the army is a military rank used to denote a senior military leader, usually a general in command of a nation's army.

Alsace Place in Grand Est, France

Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland.

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital first in Königsberg and then, in 1701, in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

Transferred to the army on the Moselle, Kellermann was accused by General Adam Custine of neglecting to support his operations on the Rhine; but he was acquitted at the bar of the National Convention in Paris, and placed at the head of the army of the Alps and of Italy, in which position he showed himself a careful commander and excellent administrator. [2]

Rhine River in Western Europe

The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in a mostly northerly direction through Germany and the Netherlands, emptying into the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.

National Convention Single-chamber assembly in France from 21 September 1792 to 26 October 1795

The National Convention was the first government of the French Revolution, following the two-year National Constituent Assembly and the one-year Legislative Assembly. Created after the great insurrection of 10 August 1792, it was the first French government organized as a republic, abandoning the monarchy altogether. The Convention sat as a single-chamber assembly from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795.

Alps Major mountain range system in Central Europe

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, and stretching approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries : France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m (15,781 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

Shortly afterwards he received instructions to reduce Lyons, then in revolt against the Convention, but shortly after the surrender he was imprisoned in Paris for thirteen months. Once more honourably acquitted, he was reinstated in his command, and did good service in maintaining the south-eastern border against the Austrians until his army was merged into that of General Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy. [2]

Imperial career

Kellermann was then sixty-two years of age, still physically equal to his work, but the young generals who had come to the front in the previous two years represented the new spirit and the new art of war, and Kellermann's active career came to an end. But the hero of Valmy was never forgotten. When Napoleon came to power Kellermann was named successively senator (1800), president of the Senate (1801), honorary Marshal of France (19 May 1804), and title of Duke of Valmy (1808). [5]

In his service to the First French Empire, Kellermann was frequently employed in the administration and training of the army. [6] [7] He also took control of the line of communications and the command of reserve troops, and his long and wide experience made him one of Napoleon's most valuable assistants. [6]

Tomb of Kellermann in Pere Lachaise Cemetery Perelachaise-Kellermann-p1000362.jpg
Tomb of Kellermann in Père Lachaise Cemetery

In 1814 he voted for the deposition of the emperor and became a peer under the royal government of Louis XVIII. After the "Hundred Days" he sat in the Chamber of Peers and voted with the Liberals. [6]

Marshal Kellermann died in Paris on 23 September 1820, [6] and is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery. [8]

His son François Étienne de Kellermann, 2nd Duke of Valmy, [6] also fought for Napoleon and was promoted to cavalry general after the Battle of Marengo. [7] Kellermann's grandson was the politician François Christophe Edmond de Kellermann. [6]

Notes

  1. Le Paris des Francs- Maçons (Emmanuel PIERRAT, Laurent KUPFERMAN - ed. Cherche midi - 2013)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Chisholm 1911, p. 718.
  3. Genealogy reference - parents of Marshal Kellermann
  4. Jean-Claude Banc, p154 Dictionnaire des Maréchaux de Napoléon, Paris, Pygmalion, 2007
  5. Chisholm 1911, pp. 718–719.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Chisholm 1911, p. 719.
  7. 1 2 Kielland 1908, p. 45.
  8. Brown 1973, p. 61.

Sources

Related Research Articles

Battle of Mormant 1814 battle in Europe

The Battle of Mormant was fought during the War of the Sixth Coalition between an Imperial French army under Emperor Napoleon I and a division of Russians under Count Peter Petrovich Pahlen. Enveloped by cavalry led by François Étienne de Kellermann and Édouard Jean-Baptiste Milhaud and infantry led by Étienne Maurice Gérard, Pahlen's outnumbered force was nearly destroyed, with only about a third of its soldiers escaping. Later in the day, a French column led by Marshal Claude Perrin Victor encountered an Austrian-Bavarian rearguard under Anton Leonhard von Hardegg and Peter de Lamotte in the Battle of Valjouan. Attacked by French infantry and cavalry, the Allied force was mauled before it withdrew behind the Seine River. The Mormant-Valjouan actions and the Battle of Montereau the following day marked the start of a French counteroffensive intended to drive back Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg's Allied Army of Bohemia. The town of Mormant is located 50 kilometres (31 mi) southeast of Paris.

Charles François Dumouriez French general

Charles-François du Périer Dumouriez was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. He shared the victory at Valmy with General François Christophe Kellermann, but later deserted the Revolutionary Army, and became a royalist intriguer during the reign of Napoleon as well as an adviser to the British government. Dumouriez is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.

Battle of Valmy victory by the army of France during the Revolutionary Wars that followed the French Revolution

The Battle of Valmy was the first major victory by the army of France during the Revolutionary Wars that followed the French Revolution. The action took place on 20 September 1792 as Prussian troops commanded by the Duke of Brunswick attempted to march on Paris. Generals François Kellermann and Charles Dumouriez stopped the advance near the northern village of Valmy in Champagne-Ardenne.

Auguste Regnaud de Saint-Jean dAngély Marshal of France and politician

Auguste Michel Étienne Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély, later 2nd Count Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély was a Marshal of France, soldier and politician.

François Joseph Lefebvre Marshal of France

François Joseph Lefebvre, Duc de Dantzig, was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon.

Kellermann is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Pierre de Ruel, marquis de Beurnonville Marshal of France

Pierre de Ruel, marquis de Beurnonville was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars and later a marshal of France and Deputy Grand Master of Grand Orient de France.

Antoine Charles Louis de Lasalle French general

Antoine-Charles-Louis, Comte de Lasalle was a French cavalry general during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, often called "The Hussar General". He first gained fame for his role in the Capitulation of Stettin. Over the course of his short career, he became known as a daring adventurer and was credited with many exploits. Eventually, he fought on every front and was killed at the Battle of Wagram.

François Christophe Edmond de Kellermann, 3rd Duke of Valmy (1802-1868) was a distinguished statesman, political historian, and diplomat under the July Monarchy.

French Revolutionary Army

The French Revolutionary Army was the French force that fought the French Revolutionary Wars from 1792 to 1802. These armies were characterised by their revolutionary fervour, their poor equipment and their great numbers. Although they experienced early disastrous defeats, the revolutionary armies successfully expelled foreign forces from French soil and then overran many neighboring countries, establishing client republics. Leading generals included Jourdan, Bonaparte, Masséna and Moreau.

Charles de la Bédoyère French General

Charles Angélique François Huchet, Comte de la Bédoyère was a French General during the reign of Emperor Napoleon I who was executed in 1815.

Army of the Alps

The Army of the Alps was one of the French Revolutionary armies. It existed from 1792–1797 and from July to August 1799, and the name was also used on and off until 1939 for France's army on its border with Italy.

François Xavier de Schwarz French general

François Xavier de Schwarz or François-Xavier-Nicolas Schwartz was born in Baden but joined the French army in 1776. He became a cavalry officer during the French Revolutionary Wars, fighting with the 2nd Hussar Regiment in numerous actions including Jemappes, Fleurus, and Neuwied. After being captured in an abortive invasion of Ireland, he was promoted to command the 5th Hussar Regiment. He led the unit in the War of the Second Coalition, most notably at Hohenlinden and in the subsequent pursuit of the Austrians.

François Étienne de Kellermann French cavalry general

François Étienne de Kellermann, 2nd Duc de Valmy was a French cavalry general noted for his daring and skillful exploits during the Napoleonic Wars. He was the son of François Christophe de Kellermann and the father of the diplomat François Christophe Edmond de Kellermann.

Anne-François-Charles Trelliard French general of division

Anne-François-Charles Trelliard or Treillard or Treilhard, born 7 February 1764 – died 14 May 1832, joined the cavalry of the French Royal Army as a cadet gentleman in 1780. During the French Revolutionary Wars he fought in Germany and Holland, eventually rising in rank to become a general officer in 1799. He led a corps cavalry brigade at Austerlitz in the 1805 campaign. In the 1806-1807 campaign he fought at Saalfeld, Jena, and Pultusk.

François-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry French military engineer

Général François-Joseph d'Estienne Chaussegros de Léry was the Canadian Engineer-in-Chief of Napoleon's Armies and Commander-in-Chief of Napoleon's Armies in the Netherlands. On his death, his name was on the list of officers being considered to fill the position of Marshal of France. He was created a Baron d'Empire and on the restoration of Louis XVIII of France he was created Vicomte de Léry and given the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. He is one of the 660 personalities whose names are engraved on the Arc de Triomphe at Paris.

The III Cavalry Corps was a French military formation that fought during the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was created in 1812 and reconstituted in 1813 and 1815. Emperor Napoleon first mobilized the corps for the French invasion of Russia. Commanded by General of Division Emmanuel Grouchy, two divisions of the corps fought at Borodino, Tarutino, and Vyazma. A third division fought at First and Second Polotsk and the Berezina. During the War of the Sixth Coalition in 1813, General of Division Jean-Toussaint Arrighi de Casanova led the corps at Grossbeeren, Dennewitz, Leipzig, and Hanau. During the Hundred Days in 1815, Napoleon reorganized the corps and appointed General of Division François Étienne de Kellermann to lead it. One brigade of the corps was engaged at Quatre Bras and both divisions fought at Waterloo.

The VI Cavalry Corps of the Grande Armée was the name of a French military formation that had an ephemeral existence during the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was created on 9 February 1814 and François Étienne de Kellermann was appointed as its commander. The corps was formed by combining a newly arrived dragoon division from the Spanish front, a second dragoon division and a light cavalry division made up of hussars and chasseurs à cheval. The latter two divisions included units from the former III Cavalry Corps. Kellermann led the VI Cavalry Corps in actions at Mormant, Troyes, Second Bar-sur-Aube, Laubressel and Saint-Dizier. After Emperor Napoleon abdicated in early April 1814, the corps ceased to exist.

Étienne Deprez-Crassier French politician

Jean Étienne Philibert de Prez de Crassier or Étienne Desprez-Crassier was a French political and military leader in the early years of the French Revolutionary Wars. Despite being from the minor nobility, he entered the French Royal Army as a cadet at the age of 12 because of his family's poverty. He fought in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, becoming a colonel in 1785 and retiring two years later. Voltaire lent him the money needed to recover the Deprez family property. He was elected to the Estates General as a nobleman in 1789. After being promoted to lieutenant general he led a division at Valmy in 1792. He became commander of the Army of the Rhine and Army of the Western Pyrenees. Imprisoned during the Reign of Terror, he was released and restored to his former rank but retired in 1796.

Battle of Epierre

The Battle of Epierre was part of a larger War of the First Coalition campaign that pitted a Republican French army led by François Christophe de Kellermann against a numerically stronger Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont army commanded by the Prince Maurizio, Duke of Montferrat. Under the overall leadership of the Austrian commander in chief Joseph Nikolaus De Vins, Montferrat launched an offensive in mid-August 1793 to recapture the Duchy of Savoy from the French. Because the French were preoccupied with the Siege of Lyon, the Piedmontese recovered most of the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valleys, but they were stopped just short of Albertville and the reconquest of Savoy. In September, Kellermann launched a counteroffensive in which he adroitly switched his troops between valleys in order to drive back the Piedmontese. At Épierre, the French under Jean-Denis Le Doyen defeated the Marquis of Cordon in a local action. By 8 October the Piedmontese abandoned all their gains and withdrew to the crests of the Graian Alps. In spite of his victory, the suspicious politicians in Paris put Kellermann in arrest and he was imprisoned until November 1794.